How My Ostomy Made Me More Confident

I know it probably sounds a bit weird; how can having your bowel removed and having two bags constantly stuck to you possibly make you more confident? Well, it takes time but I have definitely become a lot more confident, in more than one way, since getting my stoma which really surprised me! 

Lets deal with body positivity first and body confidence. I’ve always been skinny and I’ve never been worried about my body really. Then I got ill and started loosing weight which a lot of people commented on; again, I didn’t really get too self conscious. It was only once I went on steroids I started to feel less body confident; my body stayed relatively skinny, due to not absorbing much from my food, but I had the generic steroid moon face which I was really self conscious about and even though people told me that it wasn’t noticeable, I was definitely aware of it.

These photos were taken exactly a year apart; the one on the right from before I was diagnosed but I was in my first flare and the one on the left is from a year later at my year 13 prom. I swore I’d never share these prom photos because I absolutely hate how I look in them but I think it shows how much my body changed, due to the drugs and my IBD.

As soon as I came out of hospital, I was initially still very body conscious. I was super skinny and lost all my muscle and I had my bags which felt so weird and foreign, I could hardly walk and I was exhausted. I was so aware of my bags, and thought others could see them too, and I couldn’t wear my normal clothes for the first few months and just felt so uncomfortable in all my clothes.

Then something changed. I don’t know if it was just because I was getting better and got used to my bags or because I started going for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but I was suddenly like who cares about my bags! If I didn’t have them, I might not be here, and you can’t actually see them anyways. Because my stomach became less tender, I could start wearing jeans which was a massive step in my opinion and now, as you can see from my ostomy outfits of the month, I can wear just about anything.

I still get down sometimes about my bags, especially when they leak or my stomas sore because I didn’t chew my food enough but I’m a lot more confident now!